ECU police: Professor says she won’t carry a firearm on campus after all

Tuten (left) in an image from the ECU website along with a WNCT photo of a band member kneeling on Saturday.
Tuten (left) in an image from the ECU website along with a WNCT photo of a band member kneeling on Saturday.

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — ECU police said Wednesday that an ECU professor won’t carry a firearm on campus after all.

On Oct. 4, East Carolina University received a statement from Tracy Tuten, regarding her intent to open carry a firearm on East Carolina University’s campus, which is a violation of North Carolina statute.

Previous story: ECU professor plans to carry firearm on campus after school’s reaction to band protest

Tuten said that in response to the university’s reaction to band members kneeling during the national anthem, she planned to open carry a firearm on campus.

Tuten said that since the band members were allowed to “act on first amendment without regard to university rules, I too want to act on my second amendment rights to bear arms.”

Click here to read the full letter from Tuten (pdf document)

“I’ve been so frightened being on campus since the stalking. Now I do not need to be — because I am executing my 2nd amendment rights,” she wrote.

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After police made contact with her, they confirmed that she won’t be following through with her original intention of carrying a firearm on campus, releasing the following statement about the matter:

“The ECU Police Department is aware of the statement made by Dr. Tuten. We have communicated with Dr. Tuten about what the General Statutes of North Carolina allow and do not allow in terms of weapons on educational property and she indicated that she understood these provisions,” said Jason Sugg, interim ECU police chief. “While I can appreciate Dr. Tuten’s intent to bring attention to Constitutional discussions, carrying a handgun on campus property in the manner in which she described is currently prohibited by state law. Based on the most recent information given to us, we are hopeful that Dr. Tuten has reconsidered her intended action.”

ECU students, faculty and staff are encouraged to report suspicious behavior to ECU Police at 252-328-6787.

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